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Chest Purchased by the Hispanic Society of America
Late 17th Century
The Temple Newsam House collection of South American Furniture
A Spanish Colonial Fall Font Chest of Cedar Wood with Wrought Iron Mounts
The front of the box opens to reveal numerous drawers with a chip carved interior of scrolling designs; the inside of the lid is further embellished with a stylised double headed bird and inlaid with mother-of-pearl.
In 1955 Lady Ramsden gave 36 items of Hispanic furniture to Leeds in memory of her late husband. The collection had come to her from Dame Clarissa Reid (d. 1933) whose husband James Reid headed Duncan, Fox & Co.'s interests in South America between 1878 and 1909. He lived most of the time in Lima and the colonial furniture which he brought back is certainly the most important holding of its kind in the United Kingdom.
Following the death of James Reid in 1920, several pieces of this collection were exhibited at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London. The complete collection was exhibited as "Peruvian Furniture", Stable Court Exhibition Galleries, Temple Newsam House, Leeds from September 10 to October 18 1975.
The collection is documented (and the majority illustrated) in Furniture at Temple Newsam House and Lotherton Hall, Volume II, pp. 463-481, by Christopher Gilbert, published jointly by National Art Collections Fund and the Leeds Art Collections Fund, 1978
The collection was catalogued for the exhibition at Temple Newsam by the highly respected author on furniture history, the late Christopher Gilbert, then Director of Temple Newsam House. He was assisted by Dr. Francisco Stastny of the Museo de la Universidad de San Marcos from Lima, Peru. The timbers were also analysed and identified scientifically by the Building Research Establishment in the UK.
Plateria Sudamericana Hector H Schenone and Alolfo Luis Ribera
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